If you’ve ever hunted for houses, you’ve probably heard the adage “It’s got good bones.” This means that the house framework is strong and sound, even if the 1970’s shag carpet could use some updating! Don’t we want the same thing for our own bodies? A strong, solid foundation of bones that allows us to move gracefully, confidently, and pain-free into our later decades? Yes, who doesn’t want that! Unfortunately, how to build and maintain good bones is confusing for many given different approaches. We’re here to help relieve that overwhelmed feeling with nutrition recommendations you can start today.
As discussed in a previous blog post this month, What You Need To Know To Prevent Osteoporosis, we shared that poor nutrition and lifestyle habits can lead to or worsen osteoporosis, which threatens to weaken our bones and bring down our structure. Luckily, there is plenty we can do nutritionally to prevent, and even remedy, bone loss.
Eating adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats, and vegetable carbohydrates several times per day helps us to strengthen our active bone material, as well as providing the key nutrients that create and maintain new bone structure – regardless of your age.
Here’s an example of what a day of bone-building foods looks like:
2 eggs + 2 turkey sausage patties (1oz each)
2 cups cooked broccoli & peppers + ½ cup mashed butternut squash
1 Tbsp. butter
Protein is essential to build the collagen material that supports bones. One study found that lower intakes of protein were significantly related to bone loss in the upper leg and spine, with effects similar to if you were carrying an extra 10lbs of weight!1
For women, we recommend about 4oz of animal protein with each meal, and about 6oz with each meal for men. Yes, this includes breakfast! When it comes to snacks, we recommend 2-3oz of protein.
1-2 slices nitrate/nitrite-free deli meat (2-3oz total)
This is one of our favorite recipes from our sister company Nutritional Weight & Wellness, and it is perfect for the cool winter and fall months. You can also add a few raw cashews on top for a little extra healthy fat and some crunch!
½ cup full-fat plain yogurt
¼ cup pear chunks
1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Regularly incorporating probiotics in the form of fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.) like this yogurt or quality probiotic supplements can help your bones in addition to your gut. A 2016 study using female mice showed that probiotic supplementation helped the mice retain their bone density after ovary removal, while the control group (no probiotics) lost half of their bone density.2 The mice who received the probiotics had healthier intestines and a healthier immune system, which prevented the hormone-related bone loss.
4oz salmon or cod fillet
12 spears asparagus, 3-4 red baby potatoes
1-2 Tbsp. butter (for asparagus & potatoes)
1 cup bone broth
½ cup apple slices
1 Tbsp. almond butter + dusting of cinnamon
The benefits of drinking bone broth are numerous, but we’ll keep it simple and say that a daily cup of bone broth supports many tissues in our body, including our bones. It supplies us with more of that structural collagen protein, and the longer the simmering time, the more minerals that are extracted from the bones. While bone broth can be sipped anytime during the day, consider drinking a cup at night since it’s high in glycine, which is a relaxing amino acid that can promote a more restful sleep.3 For simple, delicious homemade broth, watch a step by step video on how to make your own bone broth by Nutritional Weight & Wellness.
For more support with bone health, our bone support supplements are 15% off for the month of September to help your bones, in addition to your real food choices. Check out Key Osteo Plus for a comprehensive formula or one of the Activated Calcium supplements if you’re already taking a multi-vitamin.